National Clothesline
CLA count shows 29,000 coin-ops in US
The Coin Laundry Association’s “Make Your Move” Committee has announced the result of its efforts to
determine an accurate estimate of the number of retail, self-service laundries in the United States.
Due to the fragmented nature of the laundry business, it has been difficult to reach consensus on the
number of facilities in the country in the past.
The committee, named for the presentation offered at the 2012 Excellence in Laundry conference by
leading economist Alan Beaulieu, employed several tactics in arriving at an estimate of 29,000 laundries in
the U.S.
Among these tactics was a survey of commercial laundry distributors across the country who offered
good estimates of the local laundry population. These survey results were interpolated with numbers
gathered from the U.S. Business Census, online directories and the association’s own database, among
This effort to reach a solid estimate of the total number of laundries in the U.S. comes as part of the
committee’s larger target of developing a set of “leading indicators” to assist laundry owners in planning
for the future.
“It is important to seek out key data points which each of us may use in making vital business
decisions,” said Tom Rhodes, chair of the “Make Your Move” Committee.
“We hope this is just the beginning of the committee’s work to bring the future into better focus for our
members,” Rhodes added. “We thank all of the distributors who contributed their estimates to this project.
Without their help, we would still be guessing the number of laundromats in the United States.”
CLA plans to repeat this census effort every five years and report an updated estimate to the industry.
Established in 1960, the CLA is a national trade organization that serves the self-service laundry
industry. The association’s primary goal is to advance the industry for laundry owners and their business
partners, along with the consumers that benefit from using a local laundry. CLA currently counts
approximately 2,300 store owners/investors among its membership.